Vodafone is all set to launch its new Vodafone 360 service tomorrow and the website which will be the portal to the service, 360.com, is currently down for maintenance.
In a strategy that is reminiscent of the way Apple tied the iPhone and the App Store/iTunes, Vodafone will be flogging the 360 service with two new mobile phones, the Samsung H1 and the M1, two models which we explored back in September.
The first one is the upmarket version with a 3.5-inch AMOLED touchscreen, 16GB onboard storage, a 5 megapixel camera and LiMo.
The second one is the mainstream version with a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 1GB microSD storage, no WiFi and a 3-megapixel camera without flash. Both should be available for less than £35 per month with loads of minutes, unlimited text and internet.
Vodafone has also confirmed to Tech website Tech Radar that it will integrate Facebook and Google Talk before Twitter because of the sheer number of users that the social networking website has and that it will launch 360 as a downloadable client for the Symbian platform.
There are over 100 mobile phones from Nokia and Sony Ericsson that should be compatible with the Vodafone 360 service. As to whether Vodafone will succeed with its 360 project, we're not sure about that partly because it will diminish the importance of phone makers (through the LiMo deal) and create a number of issues overnight.
Vodafone's 360 service is not unlike Motorola's own life streaming plan. More than 1000 apps will apparently be available at launch but this is still 1 percent of what Apple has for now. Vodafone is betting heavily on the success of 360 but somehow, it feels awkward that a mobile phone network, not a software or hardware company, comes up with a project like that.